This week’s outrage over President Trump’s immigration policies and the separation of migrant children and parents was the latest in a seemingly endless series of divisive issues which threaten to tear the country apart.
Politics evoke strong emotions. The kind of emotions that can divide friends, family, and even churches. Depending on the stance you take, you may be labeled everything from a racist to a heartless monster. I personally had a close family member upset at me for my position on the subject. In addition to that, the official stance of my denomination was also was at odds with my political stance.
Do I support amoral or cruel behavior? Absolutely not! Do I view things from a certain perspective? Yes. I’m pragmatic but I’m not immune to expressing moral outrage if that is how I interpret events/situations. I’d like to think that I view things from an analytical and even-handed perspective.
Yet, what makes sense to me and indeed, all Trump supporters, often invites certain criticisms. Those who disagree with Trump see his supporters as people who blindly accept all Trump does. They feel such support is based on rejecting all that MSM reports, as though it is all one big conspiracy. Typically, those who believe in conspiracies, especially massive conspiracies are often dismissed as irrational.
However, are the criticisms leveled at Trump and his supporters fair? I don’t know. All I can do is analyze step-by-step my own thought processes regarding the events of this week. Am I rational?
The first question I need to answer for myself is why I happen to support the President.
When he first announced his candidacy for President, I thought very little of it. I assumed Trump, like most political outsiders, would fall by the wayside as the Republican Primaries played out. I personally didn’t vote for Trump in my own GOP Primary. I didn’t understand the support he was getting. I definitely believed Hillary Clinton was a weak candidate and it was my feeling that a conventional GOP nominee could easily defeat her. My feelings remained unchanged even at the conclusion of the GOP Convention. I wasn’t enthusiastic about Trump. I think that’s important because I came to support Trump. I wasn’t with him the whole way.
What changed my mind? A lot of factors. The most important epiphany I had was grasping the enormity of all the challenges Trump would have to overcome to win the Presidency. MSM dropped all pretense of impartiality. As a lifelong Republican I’ve always felt MSM leaned strong Democrat, but in the 2016 Election Trump was treated with unmitigated hatred and contempt. It was so nasty that many prominent GOP politicians refused to stand with Trump (a situation that still prevails now).
It struck me as odd that not only MSM but conventional politicians all opposed Trump. What was their motivation? In addition to that, as Trump’s platform became more clear, I found myself in agreement with him. My conclusion was that Trump was independent. He wasn’t bought stock, lock, and barrel by special interests. It was also becoming rapidly apparent that conventional GOP and Democratic politicians were not as different as I had once believed.
Is Trump a saint? Of course not, but since when did ‘sainthood’ become a qualification to be President? Also, why would a billionaire subject himself to the level of hatred Trump has unless perhaps he might actually be motivated by patriotism? All I know is that Trump dared to accomplish the seemingly impossible against all odds and prevailed. Is it wrong to be inspired by a President? Plus, Trump has operated more or less the way he said he would.
Taken together, we have a unique political situation in this country. Actually it goes beyond politics. We have a very unsettling situation in this country. Despite technology and the abundance of ‘news’ has the quality of the information we are presented declined? Even more terrifying, is it even a matter of reporting news any longer, or is it all a matter of presenting/omitting information in a way designed to lead us to reach a desired conclusion? It’s a fair question. Is there any reason I should take MSM at its word? The alternative is right-wing media.
While I may agree with most of what I hear from those sources, it is biased as well. That leaves me with a serious dilemma: WHERE DO I GO TO GET IMPARTIAL/UNBIASED INFORMATION? I have no earthly idea. The absence of reliable unbiased sources of news leads to all sorts of false dilemmas and strong opinions.
The debate became: “If you support Trump, you must be morally ok with separating children from their parents. How can you call yourself a Christian?” or “If you don’t support Trump you must be ok with open borders. Don’t you care about our safety?” I don’t think either argument is particularly productive because each presumes that the issue can be simplified into an unambiguous right or wrong scenario. I think the most reasonable way to look at it is: The President has access to a lot of classified information involving national security and other vital information not available to the general public. All we can expect of the President is to take the course of action that he/she feels is in the best interests of the American public. It would be rare that any dilemma could be solved by a solution that pleases all.
The only way to assess the President is to take the information we have and see if the President is following the law (i.e. Constitution of the United States).
WAS THE LAW FOLLOWED?
As the head of the Executive Branch of Government, the President is obligated to follow laws passed by the Legislative Branch (I think it’s called Congress, but little is heard about them these days). The ‘controversy’ over family separation was the result of the President enforcing the law. Enforcing the law meant criminal prosecutions for all illegal entrants. If someone is being prosecuted criminally, their children are separated from them. If someone who is an American citizen commits a criminal act and is imprisoned they don’t retain custody of their children. The only alternative is to give a free pass to those with children to avoid separation.
So, do we want to selectively enforce laws, not enforce laws at all, or enforce all laws? What is the point of a law if it can be selectively enforced? If it is a bad law with unintended consequences, then it’s up to CONGRESS, not the President to change it. The President’s Oath includes a Statement about ‘defending the Constitution.’ If they don’t enforce the law, they aren’t following their Oath. Criminal laws are created to punish and deter. In addition to that, there are legitimate reasons to separate children from adults (i.e. child trafficking cases).
Objectively speaking, President Trump followed the law. As an American citizen, his actions pose no threat to my freedom because enforcing the law is far different from making up laws to suit his own whims. He committed no impeachable offense. Yet, Trump is being compared to Hitler. Migrant detainees are being compared to victims at Auschwitz. As a Trump supporter how do I counter such thinking? Here are a few thoughts:
- Is it plausible that the media devoted all of its attention to immigration to deflect attention off of the Inspector General’s report issued on June 14th? Call me crazy but that report contained very unsettling information. The FBI’s conduct during the 2016 Election was highly questionable. Not only did they release information to the Press, but received perks for doing so. One agent implied he would prevent Trump from being elected. Comey was found to be insubordinate, etc.. Shouldn’t this week have been about potential treason within the U.S. Government as opposed to immigration? Of course!!! Instead we are blasting a man for following the law as opposed to damning those who ignored it!!! Since when did potential/attempted insurrection become irrelevant?
- Did Trump make mistakes? Yes. First, members of his Administration should not have used Bible verses to support policies. Second, Trump should not have signed an Executive Order to address the controversy. Executive Orders turn the President into a Legislator. They undermine the checks and balances in government. Congress should have taken action, not the President.
- How bad was/is the migrant crises? I don’t know. I certainly don’t trust the Press to provide an unbiased view. It definitely isn’t Auschwitz. Human beings aren’t being killed indiscriminately. My greatest worry is that I simply have no way of knowing the conditions. MSM has no credibility. I know they want me to condemn Trump. I choose to view him as protecting our safety. Does protecting our safety entail unpleasant things? Unfortunately, yes.
- To address the atrocity, have the Democrats, MSM, or anyone else proposed a comprehensive solution that takes care of all the problems? No. Why should they when it’s easier to blame Trump?
This week proved that our country has inconsistent and contradictory desires. No one offers solutions, only blame. In the end the narrative is designed to divide us further, not draw us closer together.
This video of California Congresswoman Maxine Waters shows precisely how the left is further dividing America, calling for literal violence on people she disagrees with: